A footnote on the pathology of imperialism part 3 – Libya, Egypt, Syria

13920919000462_PhotoIThe violence and brutality exploding out of the conflict raging in Syria has a lot to do with the machinations of western politicians, following the rationality of the sociopath, only until now they have been unable to find political enemies and allies as gullible as found in other places. One probable reason for this failure is that all of the possible partners seem to understand that the Western governments should not be trusted. Many of the primary actors realise they have a common interest, so you would think it would be easy to apply the same routine logic to get to the same end as transpired in Libya, but this has not been realised in practice.

The declared interest of the western political sociopath seems on the surface at least to be clear-cut. First to unseat the political regime of Bashar al Assad; second to establish a pro-western political regime in what remains of Syria, a regime that will put in jeopardy the one next door, the theocratic republic of Iran; third to reduce the influence of Russia in the region to an absolute minimum; fourth to ensure that the political neighbour on the other side, Israel does not have to ultimately intervene if Assad looks like being replaced by something much worse.

Despite knowing the ends to be pursued, the conflict gets ever more confused and chaotic. What relationships do the priorities have to each other? Do they even form a rational whole? Can the priorities be changed in order of importance? Finally, reason can easily come to grief when faced with finding the means to bring into being the prospective end.

Something that is not rational and not yet completely irrational comes to fill up the dark space, something resembling the adjustments made by a sociopath when his plans are exposed to obstacles. The common man’s term for it is, of course, failure but imperialism does not recognise failure as a working hypothesis.

The Western allies began this entire political cycle appearing to be uncertain as to how to respond to the democratic Arab Spring. When it appeared to be happening in Libya they made it clear they were in favour of a popular uprising, so they acted to push it on and help it to victory using air power. When the popular uprising occurred in Egypt they were slow to make up their minds.

It seemed to the outside observer that the western governments were in favour because the reporting in the normally obsequious media was generally supportive of the democratic protests against the dictatorship. But those to the wise always thought the western governments were playing a waiting game, knowing the US government had been supplying the dictatorship with dollars and weapons for decades.

It turned out that the western governments were not in favour of plain old democracy in Egypt. They were quite content for the old military dictatorship to come back to power with a new front on the grounds that the evolving democracy was flawed by the presence of a Islamic Party winning the election. So Islamic extremism serves more than one political purpose, in this case it is a rational case against good old democracy.

With Syria, the western governments were more certain what they wanted.  They were in favour of the popular uprising and there is evidence that they had been assisting the opponents of the dictatorship with money and assets for some time. The problem they faced when things took a violent turn for the worse was the old stumbling block of the United Nations and the norms of international law. It was not just that Russia has had a strategic military presence in Syria for years, which could also veto a UN motion facilitating direct western military intervention intended to tip the balance in favour of the popular uprising.  It was also that the regime of Assad constituted something more than a just a personal dictatorship.

His regime was representative of a substantial section of the population, not representative of a democratic majority, but representative of a privileged minority. This meant that merely killing Assad the individual would not bring about the demise of the Baathist regime. What the western governments really needed was some private army on the ground.

So who will be the boots on the ground?

This has been the heart-rending lament of the western governments and their puppets in the corporate media for the past two years. The western governments have attempted to bring about regime change in Syria without it being their own boots.

They asked their allies in the greater region to solve the problem for them. So a free licence to make war was given to the oil rich Gulf States of the wider region, to recruit the fighters to make up a proxy army acting on behalf of the west in Syria. The weapons were supplied indirectly via the famous Lebanese arms dealers.

Just as the fictional James Bond has a licence to kill, the seven dictatorships of the Gulf led by Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a licence to recruit and equip fighters to do battle in designated zones of strategic interest as they already had in Libya.  It was Qatar that largely financed and equipped that one, in its early stage.

In Yemen the Saudi theocracy is fighting another serious war that is also being brazenly supported by the western governments.  What sort of private war made up of foreign fighters is likely if it is being licensed and equipped by the Gulf Kings and the Saudi Princes?  The origins of the Saudi kingdom may just tell us the answer.

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